Posts Tagged ‘entertaining tips’

red-mugsMemorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance in honor of those who have died in service to our nation.

If you will be hosting a Memorial Day gathering, keep it simple and respectful. Fly the flag and think about incorporating red, white and blue into your celebration. Some very easy decorations can make a big impact and tie everything together.

Many also look at Memorial Day as the beginning of summer and barbecue season. So in light of that, here are 10 fun guidelines  for condiments.

1. Do not fear the family-sized bottle of ketchup. Unless you are serving dignitaries, your guests will be happy with the big bottle.

2. You can please most of the people all the time if you have a good assortment of mustards.

3.  Plan to have mayonnaise handy at all times. Yes, it’s salty, and yes, it is bad for you, but everyone likes a dab now and then.  And don’t substitute salad dressing!

4. Find your own special sauce and serve it proudly. This could be something you make from scratch or a blend of pre-made favorites. Create a great sauce with plain yogurt, finely chopped cucumber, garlic and lemon juice.

5. Nothing tops a hot dog better than relish.  Have an assortment of  sweet relish, yellow relish and onion relish on hand.

6. Pickles are important and not everyone likes the same kind. Have an assortment of dill and sweet and make sure you identify them!

7. Have plenty of salsa – it goes fast!

8. Grill the onions for your guests’ burgers. The grill is already hot and it just takes a minute.

9. Explore several barbecue sauce recipes, find your favorite, and make it your signature. You may even offer small bottles of it to your guests as parting gifts.

10. Don’t be afraid to serve coleslaw. It’s not just a side dish. Try it on your hot dog.

Have a safe Memorial Day weekend and keep your entertaining simple!

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Here is a quick and easy dip recipe that has generated a following in our group of friends. Whenever we all get together, someone has to bring this dip. It is so yummy and fast to make.


1 cup Sour Cream

1 cup Mayo

1 cup Shredded Colby-Jack Cheese

1 cup Chopped Tomatoes

1/2 cup Crumbled  Cooked Bacon (I use the pre-packaged real bacon crumbles to save time)

2 heaping teaspoons Parmesan Peppercorn Herb dip mix*

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Serve with warmed crostini or baguette bread or crackers of your choice. Mix this up the night before your party to give the flavors time to blend. Don’t be surprised if the bowl is scraped clean!

*For details on where to find Parmesan Peppercorn Herb Dip Mix, post a comment or subscribe to my newsletter. Ranch Dip Mix may also be substituted.

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So many people have a preconceived idea about entertaining at home. Some think it is an involved and much-to-be-avoided process. If you are one of those, I  want to help you change the way you view entertaining.

In the most basic form, entertaining at home can be  defined as opening your doors and making others feel welcome. It isn’t so much about your cooking or decorating talents, if your manners would make Emily Post proud or if you have the swankiest house on the block. It is about the way your guests feel when they head out your door. Did you create some fun or warm memories? Did you focus on enjoying the time spent together? Were you present in the moment, interacting with your guests? That is successful entertaining.

We use outdated yardsticks to measure our entertaining abilities, creating a lack of confidence in our role as hosts. Changing times have brought new ideas and relaxed standards.

Think about what “entertaining” means to you. Entertaining doesn’t have to be time and money consuming or stressful. It doesn’t mean people will notice if the kids have toys out, the hallway could use a coat of paint or your “good” silver isn’t the type that requires silver polish. Concerns like this are not important to entertaining at home and having nothing to do with true hospitality. Adjust your attitude, do some planning and implement simple tips to find yourself in the position as the host with whom everyone wants to spend their time!

 To be a successful hostess, take the focus off the material things: your yard, house, serving pieces and food and instead focus on your guests.

A warm and gracious host is the one who views entertaining at home as an opportunity to share, to welcome guests into your home and make them feel like they are the most important people in the world to you right at that moment. When guests feel truly welcomed and appreciated, the fact that the bathroom rugs don’t match the hand towels are of absolutely no importance at all.

Get a new yardstick, put your guests at ease, make them feel special and see how much easier entertaining becomes.

Happy Entertaining!


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